Cokofu: Sweets shop in Okinawa

Cokofu is located in the eclectic Minatogawa Stateside Town in Urasoe. The name stands for: Coconut × Kokuto 黒糖 (brown sugar) × Fu 麩 (wheat gluten).

It is a mix of Okinawan style and some Kyoto style… it is interesting!

The best part? Vegan-friendly! I ate delicious soy milk and Okinawa brown sugar ice cream, drizzled with brown sugar syrup and sweet crispy fu on the side. I also had the fizzy kumquat juice drink (so really more like a soda than a juice). All the sweets and cafe drinks are made with soy milk, no regular milk is even available. There are several types of teas, coffee, and natural juice drinks to choose from. The menu is in Japanese and English, with pictures, so it should be easy to order.

Everything looked so good, and I actually wanted to try some of the Kyoto-style sweets, but it was warm out, I had already ate lunch (and was kinda full), so I opted with something a little smaller. Overall– AMAZING! I will definitely be back here to try everything else.

**There are some parking spots (maybe 2-3) for the store so you do not have to pay for parking!


Okara (soy pulp): おから

Okara おから is soy pulp; it is what remains after making soy milk or tofu. It is used in some traditional Japanese, Korean, and Chinese dishes, and gained some popularity with vegetarians. Many people do not really think to eat okara much anymore, but it is full of fiber, protein and some nutrients. Okara is often used for livestock feed.

So, in Okinawa, waste not want not, okara is seen fairly common in stores. It is very cheap to buy fresh okara. Of course, making your own tofu, okara is a natural by-product, and so I sometimes I need to find recipes for the leftover okara. It is common to see in all sorts of recipes, such as fillers for meatballs, vegetarian patties, stews, and even baked goods. My husband like to add it into his chili recipe, to cut down on the amount of meat he uses (this not only gives his meal a nutritional boost, but also helps cut down on the cost).

Keep in mind okara is pretty flavorless on its own, and sometimes it is a little gritty in  texture. But used in the right recipe, it can be good. There are a surprising number of recipes using okara out there; there is one blog with an astounding number of okara-based recipes, and it has definitely given me some ideas.


Cafe Soy Labo: カフェソイラボ

So for lunch I took a small adventure: a drive down the road in Nishihara, not so far from Shuri area to a small cafe called Soy Labo. This place is heavily geared towards mothers and children (I am child-free, so not really my scene per se). That being said, the menu is focuses on tofu and soy products, so as an ardent lover of tofu, this is a must-try!

I took a wrong turn, but ended up there okay (just gotta pay attention to your GPS). It is not very obvious from the main road that this place exists until you make the turn into it. It is a very cute place, I really loved the decor. For moms/kids, there is a play area, baby room, cribs, a room with low tables and floor seating. For everyone else, there are a few tables and a counter. The atmosphere was very comfortably (maybe a bit feminine). The menu is in Japanese… but there are some pictures so it is not so difficult for non-speakers I think. Everything was so delicious, I look forward to returning. Even though this place specializes in soy products, it is not necessarily vegan or vegetarian (although there seemed be options).

address: 沖縄県中頭郡西原町池田86-1